Protecting the environment is a strong value in German politics and everyday life. Sometimes the strong emotions that accompany the argument have apparent resemblance to religious practices. This presentation will explore explanations for this observation through a brief historic look into the cultural interpretation of the human nature relationship. It elaborates on aspects of the civilization process as growing human independence from the powers of nature through religious practices. Further it will be discussed, how the emotional and aesthetic response to nature in the aftermath of the age of enlightenment and scientific discoveries maintains moral values in the context of a secular society.
Dr. Wolfram Höfer is an Associate Professor at the Department of Landscape Architecture, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and is Co-founder of the Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability. His research and teaching focus is the cultural interpretation of brownfields as potential elements of the public realm and how that interpretation effects planning and design solutions for adaptive re-use of brownfields.
In 1992 he earned a Diploma in Landscape Architecture at the Technische Universität Berlin, Thesis “Post-Industrial Landscapes – a Discussion on the Example of IBA Emscherpark.” He later earned a Doctoral degree from Technische Universtät München (2000), Thesis “Nature as a Design Question. On the Change of the Idea of Nature and Landscape within a service oriented Society.”
Before Dr. Höfer came to Rutgers in 2006, he earned teaching experience at Technische Universität München and Universität Kassel. His professional experience includes employment in a Berlin landscape architecture firm and as a free-lancer. In 2004 and 2005 he was responsible for managing regional aspects and traffic organization at the “Bundesgartenschau München 2005” (Federal garden Show Munich).